Trading in your current vehicle when you are ready to purchase a new model is one of the easiest ways to save money on your next vehicle. The process of trading in your car is as simple as driving your current vehicle to the dealership where you want to buy your new car, filling out some simple paperwork, and handing the keys to your current vehicle over to a representative from the car dealership. What are some things to know when negotiating your trade-in?

The car dealership will then subtract their appraised value of your current vehicle from the purchase price of the new—or new-to-you—the vehicle you are purchasing. This means that you will have a lower down payment on your new vehicle and you will not have to finance the full cost of the new vehicle you are buying. 

There are many benefits of trading in your current vehicle for a new model. However, trading in your vehicle also presents the risk that you will not get a fair amount of money knocked off the price of your new vehicle. 

Many drivers are so grateful for the ease and convenience of the trade-in process at the dealership that they don’t even consider how much money their current vehicle is actually worth and whether or not the car dealership is offering a fair amount of money for their trade-in vehicle. If you are planning to trade in your current vehicle, it is important to go to the car dealership armed with the knowledge you need to secure a fair trade-in for your vehicle.

Value Your Car To Negotiate Your Trade-In

Value Your Car To Negotiate Your Trade-In

Keep in mind that car dealerships are not always trying to pay you less money than your current vehicle is worth. Many car dealerships are willing to offer fair prices for trade-in vehicles. However, it is still important to do your own research prior to attempting to trade in your vehicle for a new model in order to ensure that you are well-prepared to negotiate your trade-in once you get to the car dealership. Keep reading to learn three tips for negotiating your trade-in at a car dealership near you. 

  1. Do Your Research 

The number-one most important step to take before attempting to trade in your car at a car dealership is to do your own research before you head to the dealership. If you have no idea what your car is currently worth, you will have no evidence to back up your claims that the dealership should pay you more for your current vehicle than they are offering and you will likely end up accepting the dealership’s initial offer—even if it is realistically far too low.

There are plenty of online sources you can use to determine the approximate true trade-in value of your current vehicle without ever leaving the comfort of your living room. Various online retailers and online pricing guides will give you free quotes for the trade-in value of your current vehicle. These quotes might not be perfectly accurate, but they will give you a good idea of how much you should expect to be compensated for trading in your current vehicle before you head to the car dealership. 

Chances are good that the representative from the car dealership where you want to trade in your vehicle knows exactly how much your trade-in vehicle is really worth, even if their initial offer is much lower than your current vehicle’s true trade-in value. If you counter the dealership’s initial offer with a higher amount and cite several different sources to back up your counteroffer, the dealership will have a much harder time refusing your offer. Let’s move on to other tip for negotiating your trade-in.

  1. Visit Multiple Dealerships 

When negotiating your trade-in, As a rule of thumb, do not trade your car in at the first dealership that makes you an offer. You should shop around and visit multiple dealerships to see what these dealerships will offer you for your trade-in vehicle. You might be surprised to find out how much offers for the same vehicle can differ between car dealerships. 

Try to get quotes for your trade-in vehicle from at least three different car dealerships in your area before you make your final decision. Once you have multiple offers for your vehicle, you can also use those offers as leverage to boost the amount that additional dealerships you visit offer you. 

  1. Read Your Contract 

Once you have agreed upon a trade-in price for your current vehicle, it is important to read the contract that the dealership draws up and all paperwork you are given very carefully before you sign anything. 

Remember that just because you agreed to a certain price with a representative from the car dealership does not mean that you can assume that this deal is exactly what the contract will reflect. Carefully reading over all paperwork from the car dealership before you sign it will help you make sure that there are no hidden fees included with your trade-in and purchase deal and that the original deal you made is indeed being honored. Value your trade-in today and you can start online!